“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
– Henry David Thoreau
I’ve been wanting to summarise what I believe to be the keys to reaching a goal or a purpose in life. I’ve thought about it though the metaphor of a mountain. Pictures help me to understand ideas deeper.
So, if we say that we want to climb a mountain and reach a specific peak, we need to 1) Decide where we want to go, 2) Stay focused on the peak and 3) put one foot infant of the other.
If we transfer this simplified method of climbing a mountain to reaching any destination in life, a goal, we see these 3 components as follows:
The 3 Essential Skills:
1. The ability to Imagine.
If we want to go somewhere, we have to know what that is… And to know what something is, we have to see it clearly.
It’s difficult to climb a mountain without having seen a peak.
It’s difficult to build a house without a idea of what you want it to look like.
It’s very difficult to build a different life for yourself if you can not see what that would look like. Your peak.
How can we practice this muscle of imagination? Seeing something that is not there yet…
First we have to recognise it’s importance; that i’s absolutely essential to any form of achievement in life.
Then we simply need to practice, by imagining things every day, that we’d like to do, express, manifest…
Imagine different choices, and know your power to choose these different direction.
Imagine the day turning out the way you want.
Imagine beautiful things happening.
* What would I want my life to look like if I knew I could not fail?
* How would a perfect day look like to me? What would I do?
* What kind of life would make me the most fulfilled? What would that look like?
2. The ability to DECIDE
“Your vision will remain a fantasy until you decide to transform it into reality. Without a decision, your vision is a pipe dream. It’s wishful thinking. This is how most people live their entire lives, hoping for something to happen but never deciding to make it happen.”
– Isaiah Hankel
At the same way that you don’t sit and decide that you’re going to reach the summit of Mt. Everest as your first mountain, we have to start with something within reach… Something you believe you could achieve. Start there and build to greater accomplishments.
But the DECISION is truly KEY here.
And we have to re-committ to this decision as often we can.
The more we re-comitt, the bigger chance it is that we’ll actually and up where we want to be…
And just to make it clear, Im not only talking about financial and material or status “destinations” but inner qualities or ideals we wish to exemplify… Inner accomplishments are the first accomplishments. 🙂
This brings us to the next skill: focus…
3. The ability to stay focused.
“Life is relatively short, so don’t labor under the delusion that you can keep switching your focus from goal to goal and get anywhere.”
– Angela Duckworth
Let’s say we have a beautiful goal a vision of our best selves, our greatest lives and a super clear vision in our minds… But… somehow life happened and… we lost the focus on this vision… We lost the connection to the vision and our old, uninspired selves creeped in. Why?
In short, we lost our focus on where we wanted to go, so we swiftly drift back into our old comfort zone again.
Now we’re in the valley, living our lives in the safety zone… But the price?
Not so much growth…
4. The ability to take consistent action.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
– Lao Tzu
“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.”
– Thomas Jefferson
Let’s say you have a goal, a vision, and you’re super focused on it every day. But… you procrastinate & don’t follow though on your commitments…
Here, we do a great deal in working on our self-trust; doing what we say we will do.
Start with something small and build up to bigger things…
Say to yourself: I will do X. And then you do exactly X.
As you continue to practice, you will build character and a new self-image, as not only a dreamer, but a disciplined dreamer.